ANNAPOLIS, JAN. 7 -- The flow of the play was enough to make everyone seasick. In the end, Navy survived some rough going to wipe out an eight-point second-half deficit and defeat North Carolina-Wilmington tonight, 100-97.

Erik Harris set an academy record with seven steals, tied another with 14 assists, scored 21 points and led a pressuring defense that forced 23 turnovers. That offset the sharper shooting of the Seahawks (5-7), who hit 52.8 percent to Navy's 41.3.

"I've been after that steals record for a long time; I don't know how many times I had six," said Harris, who did not score while repeatedly feeding teammates as Navy (5-7) built an 18-4 lead in the first six minutes.

He received able assistance from Lance Reinhard, who made five of seven three-pointers on his way to a career-high 19 points; Eddie Reddick, who had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Nick Marusich, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

"It's about time I got out of my slump," said Reinhard, who had made less than one-third of his three-point shots. "From the beginning of the year Coach {Pete Herrmann} said to create chaos on the court and Erik does a great job of feeding the shooters for open shots. We've got to do our part."

Reddick and Marusich broke the game open underneath during the second half, when the pace wore down the Seahawks' tough inside men, Bryan Withers and Major Wiggins. Withers had 17 points and six rebounds in the first half, four points and two rebounds in the second.

"Navy's offense took away Bryan's offense," said Wilmington Coach Kevin Eastman. "When you have to sprint the floor on every play, it takes a lot out of you. Bryan has bad knees, but whenever we tried to give him a breather they took advantage."

The Midshipmen took that early 18-4 advantage during a stretch in which neither team fouled. They still led by 14 with 4:42 left in the half, then went without a field goal to the intermission as the Seahawks closed within 45-44.

The visitors surged to a 57-49 lead early in the second half, but Harris and Mel Davis led a thieving, pressure defense that brought the Midshipmen back. Reinhard made two straight three-pointers and Reddick pounded the boards for two baskets in an 11-point run that provided a 60-57 advantage.

After Wilmington tied at 60, Harris scored on a fast break after Marusich stole the ball, and the Seahawks never caught up again.

The visitors, 12 down with 1:24 left, closed within three during a weird finish. The clock did not start when the Seahawks, trailing 100-95, rebounded Davis's missed free throw with 0:07 showing and it was at 0:06 when Brannon Lancaster scored at the other end. The officials set it at 0:02 and forced Navy to inbound the ball, even though Wilmington had no timeouts left. The Seahawks even got a rebound after Harris missed two free throws with the clock reading 0:00 but with the buzzer not yet sounded.

"By then we had negative three seconds left," Eastman said. "The refs didn't take that game away."UNCW Min FG FT R A PF T Lancaster 37 9-19 0-0 0-1 6 2 22 Veney 30 1-3 2-4 0-4 2 4 4 Withers 29 8-12 5

Halftime: Navy, 45-44.

UNCW: Three-point goals: 9-19 (Lancaster 4-12, Tierney 1-3, Eaton 4-4); Turnovers: 23 (Withers 5); Steals:

NAVY; Three-point goals: 8-15 (Reinhard 5-7, Burd 1-3, Harris 1-1, Cougher 1-1, Haase 0-1, Cook 0-1, Robins

A: 1,558